Meet E.J. Rand

A business career was expected, though the writer inside fought back. My compromise: to make the lonely walk from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and my Industrial Management major, across campus to my Creative Writing minor. I bounced around for two years after graduation — literally — in the USN, as a destroyer officer on the USS Wadleigh (DD—689). One day I may turn to the partial murder mystery I drafted while in motion, if my stomach can take it.

Afterward, in suits as senior VP of a NYSE management consulting company and then senior VP at a public relations company, where I represented a national top-ten homebuilder, I still found a way. Color it quarterly earnings statements, corporate annual reports, consulting proposals, and thousands of newspaper and magazine stories — not in my name, of course. Handling crisis-consulting work became great fun: the script was mine to create and then to make happen.

Along the way, blessed by children and joined by a dog, cats, cars, and a house in the 'burbs, my marriage broke up and she died of cancer. You reach an age — more than ten million of us have lost loved ones — and you can despair of ever finding a soul mate again. That I did was a miracle.

I live with my wife in northern New Jersey.

Early one morning I was out in the snow, bringing in the paper, when a friend drove past on his way to work. We waved, I asked myself "What if?" and I was hooked. From that emerged SAY GOODBYE. By some odd chance, Gary Kemmerman is middle-aged, had been a crisis consultant before retiring, and lost his late wife to cancer: he finds his second chance at love and becomes an amateur sleuth on the morning we meet him, though initially, he wants neither.

Winning Deadly Ink Press' 2007 David G. Sasher, Sr. Best Unpublished Thriller Novel Award was a great honor, and being named a FINALIST in the prestigious national 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards offers promise for my goal of a long-term writing career.

My genre is the mystery thriller, but I can't write a novel without offering a deep love story.

E.J. Rand is a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and the Romance Writers of America.